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Goats/Abandoned Pygmy with foot issues


A. Back hooves
A. Back hooves  

B. Front left hoof
B. Front left hoof  
Hi there,i really hope you can help me with a little 12 legged situation. I have been in animal rescue for a number of years, but I've never fostered goats so I really hope you can help me out.

I got a call from a friend yesterday (Friday) morning about three Pygmies who had been dumped in an enclosed graveyard. After spending the day on the phone trying to get them somewhere, they ended up coming home with my OH. While they were being unloaded I set up their temporary shelter and some food and water and we pretty much left them alone last night to settle in and get their bearings.

When I went to give them a proper once over this morning, I noticed that one of them has what looks like a very short, flat hoof with no toes on their front left arm (leg?!), horrifically overgrown back hooves that have curled inward, and the front right is bowing outward from what I'm guessing to be either a severe dislocation or a broken leg that wasn't set correctly. The toes on the bow leg's hoof are long but they don't seem cracked.

The other two little bleaters seem in good health, they've certainly had their feet taken care of anyway. They'll all be seeing a vet on Monday for a proper assessment. They seem to be quite comfortable around people, they have no problem being touched and they enjoy being hand-fed; I'm pretty sure they were pets but their owner was either unable or unwilling to care for them so they were put somewhere they couldn't get out of, and has regular visitors so they would be found quickly.

So...I was hoping for some advice...specifically regarding the back right hoof that looks to have broken; should I try to take the broken piece off in case it gets caught in something and the goat gets hurt, or should I leave it in case removing the piece allows additional dirt in to what may be an infected area?

My thoughts on the flat, single toe disaster is that the hoof has been bashed as a result of the wonky little dude's personalised gait that developed to compensate for the bow leg. It would certainly have to take more weight than it was designed for.

Thank you in advance,

Hello - first off you are a great person to take in the little critters - I so admire folks who do that.  
For some reason my computer would not let me enlarge the photos.

Re the back hooves, just trimming back as best you can now and then in a few days when the blood vessels to the hooves have drawn back a bit, then re trim, keeping up with this process until the hooves are where you would like them.  If there is a broken part that could possibly get caught on something and tear the hoof then indeed I would trim that off as best you can. Once you cut away the excess hoof wall you should be able to see if there an infection there.  Removing a piece from the wall/hoof side is okay to do as you can always spray that area with something called BluKote or another antibiotic spray just to protect the under area if it is more hoof tissue and not a hoof wall there.

Re the left front hoof, sounds like this could have been a severe selenium deficiency or a combination of several vitamin/mineral deficiencies when he was much younger that caused malformation of the hoof so that it grew into one, or it could have been an injury to the hoof and that is the way it healed.    Does he have a strange gait when he walks or does he tend to throw that leg out more than the others?  

Hope this helps - let me know - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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